'Me Him Her': Film Review

Big Beach
A high-energy, high-contrivance rom-com

A gay TV star struggles to stay in the closet

Max Landis (screenwriter of Chronicle and the upcoming American Ultra, son of John) makes his feature directing debut with Me Him Her, a Hollywood coming-out comedy whose characters may or may not be inspired by actual persons. Likeable at times, but suffering from strange mood swings and more energy than it knows what to do with, the film may, if Landis's pre-screening performance here is an indication, be designed to annoy any viewer too old to be nostalgic about '90s boy bands and The WB. An unsympathetic protagonist doesn't help prospects beyond fests and VOD, especially since the pic's fear-of-what-I-want theme feels already out of date.

90210's Dustin Milligan is tough to take as Cory, who flies to L.A. at the behest of high school pal Brendan (Luke Bracey), a TV star who has just realized he's gay. Self-absorbed and barely capable of sincerity (listen to his sing-song attempt at an apology: "I'm sorry? For being a dick?"), Cory would be better off on the sidelines than in the title's "Me" slot, but there you have it. Bracey is more congenial, even if his cluelessness about his sexuality strains credibility.

As Brendan moves through some broad screwball mishaps trying to keep slimy TMZ-types from exposing his secret and ruining his sex-symbol bankability, Cory stumbles into a drunken hookup with a lesbian, Gabbi (Emily Meade). Gabbi, having her own flip-out at getting pleasure from sex with a man, dodges Cory's attempts to see her again, a pursuit which leaves him little time to support the friend he has come to L.A. to help.

The banter has its high points, and some supporting players more than carry their weight (especially Alia Shawkat and Rebecca Drysdale, as friends helping Gabbi through her recent breakup). But the second half groans under too many dumb contrivances, even if the dumbest — a sword fight at a publicity event — leads to a credit-sequence gag that earns more laughs than anything in the film.

 

Production company: Big Beach

Cast: Luke Bracey, Dustin Milligan, Emily Meade, Scott Bakula, Geena Davis, Alia Shawkat, Rebecca Drysdale

Director-Screenwriter: Max Landis

Producers: Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub

Executive producers: Darren M. Demetre, Leah Holzer

Director of photography: Ross Riege

Production designer: Katie Byron

Costume designer: Lynette Meyer

Editor: Joe Landauer

Music: Andrew Dost

Casting directors: Nicole Abellera, Jeanne McCarthy

 

No rating, 97 minutes

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